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Home: Surnames: Langer Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: LANGER from Silesia
Posted by: Roderic Langer Date: February 01, 2002 at 13:47:18
In Reply to: Re: LANGER from Silesia by Doris Miller of 268


I would love to make use of your researcher in Germany - if it would be alright with you and your researcher in GE. I'm looking for information related to Gotthold Leonhardt Herman Langer. Here's the information that I know now...

The family coat of arms shows two shields. The right shield shows the Austrian Double eagle and reportedly ties to the family Count von Wallenstein who fought during the 30 years war 1619-1648. The left shield indicates by the knights helmet that one of our ancient ancestors was knighted.

The Langer family origin as far as can be determined began in Landeshut, Silesia, a province of Austria in the proximity of the Oder River - north of ancient Bohemia and Austria and has been renamed and is now in Poland.

Silesia became a part of Prussia when Frederic of Prussia invaded Silesia and ultimately was ceeded to him by the Hapsburg ruler Maria Theresa of Austria. Thus the family became Prussian Germans.

By 1871 under Prussian rule and by Bismark "Blood and Iron" methods, Germany became the foremost power of the European continent. Germany's citizens were required to serve in the armed forces and this explains the one surviving

letter of six that belonged to Gotthold Langer dated 1843, where apparently Gotthold's father (name unknown - Wilhelm, perhaps?) was applying for an instructor's position in a castle. The other five letters were destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.

By the above information we can assume that Gotthold's father subsequently became a professor in Berlin as shown by the scholastic pose in a photo taken by a professional photographer in Berlin.

By the same deductive process we can assume that a professional photo taken of an elderly woman in Breslaw was Gotthold's grandmother. Her name is also unknown. Breslau is or was approximately 90 km from Landeshuts and is now in Poland and also renamed.

Other photos show Gotthold's brothers and sisters in a formal setting and also photographed by a commercial studio in Berlin.

From the above photos and from correspondance addressed to Gotthold from his brother Herman to San Francisco we can assume that the Langer family settled in Berlin by the 1880s.

During the Prussian years, under Bismark education was of prime importance as well as military service. Thus Gotthold as the eldest son was selected to attend Heidelberg University in 1876, where he studied to become a mechanical engineer.

Dueling was a common sport among Prussian gentry. However, Bismark outlawed this practice with heavy penalties for non-compliance. Thus when Gotthold killed another student in a duel while at Heidelberg, to escape the death penalty, the family spirited him out of the country by ship to Baltimore, MD in 1879.

Gotthold worked on various engineering projects across the continent and ended up in San Francisco in 1900.

To recapitulate what we know from various records that in 1886 he married Minnie Louise Freitag in Huron, S. Dakota. A son, Leonhart Herman Langer was born in 18888 in Plattsmouth, Nebraska. A daughter was born in 1889 in Trenton, Missouri and a daughter, Elsa was born in 1892 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Gotthold worked for many San Francisco industrialists until he retired in the late 1920s. He died in 1941 and is buried with his wife and daughter Elsa in Upper Lake, CA.

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